Rentmeister Total Home Service Blog : Archive for December, 2014

5 Facts about Santa Claus

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Many holiday traditions involve the story of Santa Claus, the lovable old man who spends most of his time at the North Pole taking a single evening to deliver presents and candy to children everywhere. But since Santa Claus is so elusive (unless he happens to be visiting your local shopping mall), how do we know so much about him? Where exactly does his journey begin? Our holiday guide details 5 of the most common traditions associated with Jolly Old Saint Nick.

  1. The Origins of Santa: The name “Santa Claus” comes from St. Nicholas (a name which became Sinter Klaas for short in Dutch), a Christian Bishop from 4 A.D. who was known for giving his fortune away to those in need in Turkey. Santa Claus’ first associations with gift-giving comes from Holland’s St. Nicholas’ feast day, during which children would leave out their shoes overnight and find presents waiting inside the shoes on the next morning.
  1. The Stocking by the Chimney: While many people associate Holland’s shoe tradition with the origins of hanging a stocking, this isn’t entirely accurate. Hanging stockings instead comes from the legend of a time St. Nick helped a man afford to marry off his daughter by throwing a bag of gold down the chimney, which landed in a stocking that was hanging up to dry.
  1. St. Nick’s Outfit: Santa got his fashion sense from a wooden cutout handed out during a meeting of the New York Historical Society in 1804. But it wasn’t until a 1930s Coca Cola advertisement that his traditionally blue, white, and green outfit was transformed into a big red suit.
  1. Leaving Cookies out for Santa: Food was traditionally used as ornamentation during the holidays in medieval Germany as apples and cookies commonly adorned the home at wintertime. When the Christmas tree became a common symbol of the season, edible treats began to vanish, a phenomenon which became attributed to Santa Claus’ snacking habits.
  1. Why Santa Drives a Sleigh: Santa gets his sleigh from a tale spun by Washington Irving, the same author who brought us the Headless Horseman. He wrote down an account of a dream in which Santa Claus drives a weightless wagon through the sky, and the stories became so popular, they stuck around.

Here at Rentmeister Total Home Service, we hope that you have a joyful and safe celebration, no matter what holiday traditions you engage in this year. Happy holidays!

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How Often Should I Schedule Maintenance for My Heat Pump?

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Your heat pump is an effective air conditioner in warmer weather and can even provide incredibly efficient heating in the winter (up until temperatures outside drop below freezing). You want to take good care of your heat pump is so useful to you throughout the entire year—and because the cost of a sudden replacement would certainly not be ideal.

But without proper maintenance, your heat pump has a chance of failing before its time, running into repair needs throughout the year, or consuming a lot more energy than its efficiency rating would otherwise suggest. This is the reasoning behind technicians pushing for annual professional heating and air conditioning maintenance: equipment can wear down far too quickly without it.

You may begin to wonder: if a heating system and an air conditioning system must both receive maintenance every year, how often should I have a technician come look at my heat pump? Many would tell you that once a year for a heat pump simply is not enough. Heat pumps run in both the winter and the summer, and the excess strain on the system deserves a twice yearly checkup to prevent out-of-control expenses in the future and check up on any supplementary heating devices as well.

What to Expect from a Maintenance Visit

During a maintenance visit, a technician will first perform a thorough inspection, checking for leaks and cracks in the refrigerant line, ensuring the proper function of the reversing valve, and making sure the compressor is not being overworked. If there is anything alarming to report, the technician will then let you know what steps to take next for repairs and discuss all of your options with you.

Then, parts will be thoroughly cleaned and adjusted as needed. This is particularly important for the outside coil, which can become dirty quickly due to its exposure to the elements, leading to reduced heating and cooling capacity. It’s also important for the electrical connections to be tightened and for any loose screws to be put back in place.

Heating maintenance is a valuable service that often leads to better comfort at home, lower bills, and peace of mind. Call Rentmeister Total Home Service for heating maintenance in Salt Lake City today!

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What Are My Options for Heating System Replacement?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

**Rentmeister Total Home Service No Longer Services Boilers Or Radiant Heating Systems, We Apologize If This Is An Inconvenience**

All heating systems die eventually. You can and should take the best possible care of your heater, but sooner or later you’re going to have to replace it. The question then becomes “what do I replace it with?” Fortunately for you, there are a wide variety of options available for your new home heating system. Let’s take a look at a few of those options.

Boilers

Boilers are a classic option for home heating, and one often overlooked by homeowners. This is usually due to ignorance of the kinds of benefits that boiler-based systems provide to homeowners. For example, radiant heating is the most common kind of boiler-based heating system. It consists of a network of water pipes installed into the wall or subfloor of each room that needs heating. The boiler then heats and distributes water through these pipes, causing heat to radiate through the walls and floor to warm up the room.

Radiant heating has few great advantages over forced air systems. For one, a closed water system wastes a lot less energy and heat than a forced air system does. For another, radiant heating can heat a room much more evenly than a forced air system. This helps eliminate hot and cold spots that are pretty commonplace among forced air system heated rooms.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are another unique option that is just now beginning to garner the popularity it deserves. Heat pumps do not burn fuel to generate heat; they only need electricity to operate. Instead of burning fuel, the heat pump siphons thermal energy from the outside air to use in heating the home. This makes heat pumps very energy efficient, quite a bit more so than traditional furnace systems. The one downside is that in areas that frequently get below zero degrees Fahrenheit, the heat pump loses efficiency. This is due to the dearth of thermal energy available in the air, which the heat pump needs to heat the home.

If you’d like to know more about the options available for heating your home, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. Our technicians offer heating services all over Salt Lake City.

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Is My System Worth the Cost of Heating Repair?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Deciding whether or not it’s time to replace your heating system should take several factors into consideration. Reviewing these factors can help you answer the sometimes challenging question of whether or not you should continue to repair your current heating system or consider replacement:

Corrosion/Rust

Your heater, even if it is a boiler system, should not have excessive rust or corrosion on it. Rust and/or corrosion can release dangerous combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide, through cracks and holes. While small areas of rust and corrosion can be repaired, excessive corrosion cannot. It may be more prudent to install a new system rather than replace all the areas affected by the corrosion.

Age

The average combustion heating system lasts 15-20 years. How old is your current system? As heaters age, their ability to perform effectively decreases and components begin to wear. At some point, it may not be worth the cost to repair a new system as your money may be better spent on a new, durable and reliable one.

Energy Efficiency

Are you seeing higher energy bills but haven’t changed the way you use your heating system? Aging systems can have a hard time achieving the energy efficiency they were made to operate at. Today’s systems are very energy efficient, so it may be worthwhile to see how much you could potentially save on monthly energy bills with a new heater.

Numerous Repairs

Have you had to make numerous, costly repairs for your heater to keep running? Repair costs can add up quickly – sometimes to the cost of a new system. If you are facing multiple repairs, or large, costly ones, you may want to see if your money is better spent on a new system.

If you are having trouble deciding if your current system is worth the continued cost of repairs, try working with a trained specialist. The experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service are here to help with all your heating needs in Salt Lake City, so call us and schedule an appointment today!

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